SoundHound Smart Speakers Goes Up Against Google Home And Amazon Echo

SoundHound just entered the smart speaker market with the announcement today on Kickstarter of the Hurricane.

The SoundHound Hurricane utilizes the Hound platform which allows the new voice-powered smart speaker to stream music and process requests through Slacker Radio. The smart speaker can be connected via WiFi. If there is no internet connection available, the user can still play music via Bluetooth by connecting it to a smartphone. The portable speakers have a 10-watt four-inch subwoofer to go with a couple of full-range drivers. It also has four microphones to better hear voice commands. The Hurricane will answer to the wake phrase "OK Hound".

The stand-alone device can also answer queries about location, news, weather, flight schedules, and lots of other things. The Hurricane also uses the speech-to-meaning technology of Houndify which lets the user ask follow-up questions without much difficulty. For example, a user can ask about the location of a restaurant and follow that up with whether the restaurant had outdoor seating. This was the exactly the same questions SoundHound founder and CEO Keywan Mohajer asked when he unveiled his virtual assistant mobile app called Hound back in March. The app answered both questions correctly.

The Hurricane will rival the likes of Google Home and Amazon Echo both released in 2016. According to Tech Radar, one of the major differences from the competition is that the Hurricane utilizes the personal algorithm software or PAL. This software allows the device to get familiar with the user's everyday routine. That way, the smart speaker can create playlists tailored to the user's current activity.

SoundHound partnered with Boombotix to develop the Hurricane. Boombotix, an audio company which produces portable speakers and mobile audio accessories, is also behind the Boombots.

The Hurricane is priced at $199 but is available for only $169 if you pre-order on Kickstarter. It will be available during the holiday season.

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